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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 10:35 PM   #1
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AVCHD on an SD card with menu

Recently got a panasonic Blu-ray player BD60 that accepts SD cards for video and can read avchd files. Is there any way to put a menu on an sd card for my avchd video files? How sweet would that be? Good bye scratchable discs!
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:01 AM   #2
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I am not familiar with your specific BluRay player, Ted, but I am familiar with the format used by most (not all) BluRay players to play so-called AVCHD disks. If your player is like most, it will accept a menued and fully edited folder just like the one presently created by your camera when it records.

This requires that you:

1. Get an AVCHD editing / authoring program, most of which are very low cost (<$100) or install the 30 day trial version at no cost. (I suggest either Cyberlink Power Director 8, Nero Vision, or Corel Movie Factory as good examples).

2. Take the card from your camera and read the BDMV>AVCHD>STREAM>*.MTS video clips into your computer using an SD card reader.

3. Edit the clips, create motion menues and buttons per your liking.

4. Create the output AVCHD>BDMV folder on your hard disk and transfer back onto the same or a different SD card.

This should allow you to have edited and authored / menued full resolution "disks" with the same exact performance as either BluRay or AVCHD but stored on a card or external hard disk.

Many people here use Media Players (such as the Western Digital) which ONLY keep content on cards or disk drives rather than put up with burning and other issues on optical disks.

Hope this helps,

Larry
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 01:18 PM   #3
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I do this all the time on the Playstation 3 and USB flash drives, (videos+menus).

But there are a couple of caveats that I think could be missing from Larry's advice:

1.) If I'm not mistaken, and I do not know this for sure, but aren't the SD cards formatted FAT32? That would mean a 4gb limitation on the video streams. The video streams would have to be broken up into 4gb chunks.

2.) If the SD cards are in fact FAT32, or rather if that is the formatting expected by the Panasonic BD60 player, the FAT32 (8.3) naming conventions will have to be used.

I suspect in lieu of 1 and 2 above, all that will be possible is simple navigating to the AVCHD video files on the SD disk, and choosing which files to play without menu functionality.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 02:31 PM   #4
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No I don't think SD cards are FAT32 the panasonic hmc-150 claims it can record up to 3 hours on an sd card with no interrruption and on one file.

Larry are you saying that this way of authoring will also work hard drive media players too? What about apple TV? Can i create a file that I can upload onto Apple TV that will give me a menu to play my acvhd video?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 02:46 PM   #5
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Tom and Ted,

I don't really agree. The file size does indeed need to be limited as you say, but the camcorders as well as all the authoring programs I have used / seen (essentially all of the AVCHD authoring programs) observe this FAT32 limit automatically, and only split the clip in a seamless playback manner if it exceeds the size limit. Thus, a single clip, were it to exceed the file size limit, would still get recorded and authored as well in a properly split manner. Similarly, the authoring programs create the output directory structure according to the conventions used in AVCHD as well as in a manner consistent with both computer and set-top player use. I have, for example, used this method to edit .mts files on my computer from the camcorder, written the edited titles back to the card with various filters, titles, transitions, etc., and then used the camcorder as a playback deck at homes of friends / relatives who have neither a BluRay player nor a Media Player connected to their HDTVs.

I guess what I am saying here is that the authoring program writes the new AVCHD folder and all of its subdirectory content including the new edited clips, menus, etc. in a format which already obeys the file naming and file sizing constraints.

Larry
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 02:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Hinkle View Post
No I don't think SD cards are FAT32 the panasonic hmc-150 claims it can record up to 3 hours on an sd card with no interrruption and on one file.

Larry are you saying that this way of authoring will also work hard drive media players too? What about apple TV? Can i create a file that I can upload onto Apple TV that will give me a menu to play my acvhd video?
Ted,
I have done a little Apple TV work with iMovie '09 and FCP but am hardly an expert. It is my impression that the ONLY way to get AVCHD camcorder content onto an AppleTV is with transcoding into a QuickTime .m4v or .mp4 format. Even then, I do not believe I was able to retain 1920 by 1080 full frame resolution, since it was (as I recall) unsupported by AppleTV. Perhaps this is now changed, but the format I was forced to down-rez into was 720p. And there were no menus of any type except for what AppleTV provides.

And yes, this method works beautifully with hard drive and USB (Thumb) drive devices attached to media players. I have 2 sitting around here doing exactly that, one with stuff for my grand-daughter (an Argosy cheap-o unit from Newegg for $50 with a $12 thumb drive filled with 16GB of content) and the other running off a Western Digital pocket-sized 160GB USB hard drive. For AVCHD content specifically, I do not have a Media Player which plays AVCHD "virtual disks" including navigation directly but at least one model does exist which allows this:

http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinesto...nfo&item_id=12

Quite possibly there are others.

Larry
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 04:09 PM   #7
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Thanks larry. your absolutely right about the Fat32 constraints I didn't realize that... or the limitations of using apple tv as a player. Not a big deal for me at this point, but defenitely good to know for my customers.

Really appreciate your input. It's nice to know that the authoring for AVCHD takes care of putting things together in conjunction with the fat32 limitations... that puts my mind at ease in regards to pursuing this method.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 06:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Hinkle View Post
Recently got a panasonic Blu-ray player BD60 that accepts SD cards for video and can read avchd files. Is there any way to put a menu on an sd card for my avchd video files? How sweet would that be? Good bye scratchable discs!
I do this all the time with my Panasonic Blu-ray player - it's also much quicker than burning test discs and a lot less expensive!

Use: ::: multiAVCHD home :::
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 06:31 PM   #9
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Great suggestion, Stuart. This program has improved a lot since I tried it a few months ago. And the price (free) is irresistible !!
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Old November 29th, 2009, 04:36 AM   #10
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As far as I remember, the 4gb limitation is not really a limitation of FAT32. It's how various OS's used to handle large files on FAT32. Thus most hardware recording to FAT32 limit files sizes to 4 GB.

I could be wrong (it's been a while) but I think the above is accurate
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